Heart Smart
   Vitamins: What They Do, Where to Get Them

Vitamin

Needed For

Good Sources


Vitamin A
(and beta-carotene)


Healthy skin, strong teeth and bones in children, maintaining resistance to infection, normal growth, cell structure, normal eyesight


Fish liver oils, liver, dairy products (vitamin A); carrots, dark-green leafy vegetables (beta-carotene)


Vitamin B-1
(thiamine)


Use of carbohydrates in the body, digestion and appetite, normal function of nervous system


Whole grains, brown rice, beans, peas, organ meats, lean pork, seeds/nuts


Vitamin B-2
(riboflavin)


Normal growth, formation of certain enzymes, cellular oxidation, prevention of sores and swelling of mouth and tongue


Dairy products, meats, poultry, fish, green vegetables (broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, spinach)


Vitamin B-3
(niacin)


Activities of enzymes in the body's use of carbohydrates and fats, detoxification of pollutants and alcohol, nervous and digestive system functions, production of sex hormones, healthy skin


Lean meats, fish, poultry, whole grains


Vitamin B-6
(pyridoxine)


Use of amino acids in the body, making hemoglobin


Meats, whole grains, wheat germ, brewer's yeast


Vitamin B-12


Nervous system functions, normal development of red blood cells, production of genetic material in cells, effective use of carbohydrates and folic acid from foods


Fish, dairy products, organ meats, beef, pork, eggs


Biotin


Activities of enzymes needed to break down fatty acids in carbohydrates, ridding the body of wastes from breakdown of proteins


Nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, organ meats, brewer's yeast


Folic acid


Important metabolic processes in the body, growth, reproduction, production of red blood cells


Green leafy vegetables, oranges, beans, peas, rice, eggs, liver


Pantothenic acid


Production of certain hormones, activities of enzymes in the body's use of fats and carbohydrates, use of vitamins, normal growth, nervous system functions


Organ meats, eggs, whole grains, brewer's yeast


Vitamin C
(ascorbic acid)


Healthy skin, bones, teeth, gums, ligaments, and blood vessels; immunity to disease; wound healing; absorption of iron from the digestive tract


Citrus and other fresh fruits, fresh vegetables


Vitamin D


Strong bones; regulation of the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the digestive tract


Fatty fish, liver, eggs, fortified milk


Vitamin E


Normal brain function, formation of red blood cells, maintaining some enzymes, normal cellular structure, protection against pollutants


Whole grains, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables, eggs


Vitamin K


Blood clotting


Green leafy vegetables, dairy products

See on other sites:

MedlinePlus
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitamins.html
Vitamins

National Institutes of Health - Office of Dietary Supplements
http://ods.od.nih.gov/
Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets


Updated October 2013

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